On an absolutely beautiful day in Northwood, NH, the Division 3 and 4 State Middle School Championships were contested with close to 1000 athletes participating. The kids were treated with a competitive but festive atmosphere complete with a mobile hype squad, music, and a double arch on the finish stretch courtesy of Lancer Timing and HOKA. Hats off the the organizers of the Coe-Brown running community for making the kids feel like professional runners!
The ladies of D3 began the day and started things off with quite the team competition as the top 5 teams were separated by only 15 points, with the top 3 separated by only 4 total points. Perennial D3 power Hopkinton Middle School placed 5th with 120 points and were led by Hannah Clarner (9th) and Maisie Emerson (15th). South Meadow was next scoring 117 points and led by Khloe Rusin’s 16th place finish. Led by the 10th place finish of Ashlynn Guay, Litchfield Middle placed 3rd with 109 points, just 2 points behind runner-up Three Rivers School. They had 3 in the top 13 as Caitrin Bergeron, Emmie Holt and Bella DeLorme placed 6th, 12th and 13th respectively. Congrats to Auburn Village School as they leaned for the win with 105 points. Buoyed by the low-stick of race champion Sookie Folsom, Auburn Village’s 2-4 scorers, Violet Lenzi (17th), Bridget Johnson (21st), Emily Field (29th) finished within 30 seconds of one another.
The aforementioned state champ, Folsom took the lead from the start and never looked back. Matter of fact, her finishing time of 12:05 would have placed her in the top 7 or so of the boys’ races! Raymond Middle’s Leah Unger ran impressively to take the runner up position in 12:28. Barrington Haley Bezanson separated herself from the chase pack over the second half of the races to place 3rd in 12:44 twenty seconds up on Inter-Lakes Abigail Furlin. Jaffrey-Rindge saw Olivia Richard place 5th right behind Furlin in 13:08. As mentioned prior, Bergeron placed 6th in 13:41, a few strides up on Hampstead’s Lola Hideriotis. Winnisquam’s Eloise Abbott placed 8th in 13:52 to out-stride Clarner.
Placing 4 runners in the top 20, Indian River School won the boys D3 title. Scoring for the state champs was Karson Rogers (6th, 12:12), Carl Russell (10th, 12:27), Alex Desarranno (12th, 12:29), Reece Yorke (18th, 12:46), and Nic DeFelice (38th, 13:20). Hopkinton Middle put up a good fight placing second with 88 points behind top 10 finishers James Lavers (4th, 12:09) and Max Goupil (8th, 12:18). Employing great packing, South Meadow placed 3rd with 121 points with their top 4 of Ari Pape (20th, 12:49), Marcus Jordan (23rd, 12:52), Owen Howell (24th, 12:56), and Weston Moore (25th, 13:00) placing 20th-25th! Hats off to Newmarket Jr. as they placed 4th with 161 and were led by Kinley McKenna (15th, 12:33). Auburn Village School rounded out the top 5 scoring 90 points.
In what was the closest race of the day, Academy for Science & Design’s Ethan Fischer couldn’t shake Chester Academy’s Joseph Gustavson. Both boys gained early separation from the field and waged quite the battle through the woods of CBNA. Credit to both runners as Fischer applied pressure the entire distance, while Gustavson never gave in, all the way to the line! Great pure racing as they were separated by just a half a second clocked 11:03, the fastest times of the day and around a minute up on 3rd place finisher Colin Foster of Newfound. In addition to previously mentioned athletes, also medaling in the top 10 were Three Rivers’ William Lecain (5th, 12:10), Weare Middle School’s Shane Brunini (7th, 12:17), and Aaron Graham (9th, 12:25).
D4 girls looked a lot like 2021 as the ladies of Heronfield Academy successfully defended their title by placing 4 in the top 20 to score 69 points. Scoring for the state champs were Annabel Jordan (6th, 13:12), Harper Peters (12th, 13:29), Brady Preneta (13th, 13:42), Evelyn Marshall (18th, 13:58) and Zoe Pate (31st, 14:44). Presentation of Mary Academy were the runner-ups as they scored 95 points and were led by Shannon Forsyth’s and Lola Dumont’s 9th and 11th place finishes respectively. Led by Vera McCown’s 3rd place finish, North Hampton would place 3rd with 138 points.
Individually, this was also a close contest as eventual champ, Skyah McLaughlin of The Well School gained a couple steps on eventual runner-up Isabella Quadros to win 12:59 to 13:01 with McCown being just another 2 seconds back. Placing 4th was The Derryfield School’s Anna Fazelat (13:09), who had a step on Nottingham’s Hilary Wennberg (13:10). Completing the top 10 medalists would be Henniker’s Nora Smith (7th,13:17), St. Patrick’s Nell McAllister (8th, 13:23) and St. Joseph-Salem’s Lila Draper (10th, 13:26).
As with the girls side, the boys D4 race saw the reigning champs Rye Junior High School defend their titles scoring 52 points by placing their entire top 5 in the top 22 finishers. Scoring for Rye were Robert Marttila (9th, 12:17), Myles Parke (14th, 12:49), Apollo Londoff (15th, 12:49), Ben Pearl (17th, 12:52), and Julian Brousseau (22nd, 13:05). St. Mary Academy claimed runner-up honors placing 3 in the top 20, Lincoln Hydock (4th, 11:57), Dylan Verde (12th, 12:27), and Ben Velazquez (16th, 12:49) to score 80 points. And completing the podium placing 3rd by 1 point was The Derryfield School totaling 96 points over Heronfield’s 97 points. They were led by Juelrick Phanor’s 5th place finish in 12:02.
Individually, wow what a race as any one of 3 individuals could have won the race with 200 meters to go as Candia Moore 8th grader Jason Robie came from way back to blow past Fall Mountain’s Matthew Northcutt and Plymouth’s Patrick Youngs, who were battling the entire race. Northcutt, last year’s runner-up, would not be denied however, as he found something extra over the final straight to win 11:17 to Robie’s 11:20. Youngs wound up 3rd in a commendable 11:27. In addition to those previously mentioned, the top 10 also included Northwood’s Broden Cox (6th, 12:02), Heronfield’s Gus Rourke (7th, 12:13), Deerfield’s Quin Purinton (8th, 12:15) and Plymouth’s Samuel Youngs (10th, 12:19).
Congrats to all! There is nothing like a true State Championship meet to properly end a truly magnificent XC season!